Response to a Comment on the “50th Anniversary of Centralized Regulatory Review”

We received a number of comments on our post on  Notice and Comment.

One comment that was shared by a number of commentators was that the formulation and implementation of centralized regulatory review as reported in the press was at times not-transparent and overly forceful.

The aforementioned statement is a fair one.  But in itself is a statement as to the need for the many regulatory practitioners who believe that centralized regulatory review is an entitlement and who have a nanosecond interest in history to spend some time learning of its maturation.  Starting from its initial conception during the Johnson Administration continuing through the Reagan Administration there was outright hostility in some areas of the government to the idea of centralized regulatory review.  Consequently it became very obvious if one were going to launch the Good Ship OIRA it was not going to happen by holding hands and singing kumbaya.

Finally, as in all systems of executive orders and regulations they must be accompanied by an enforcement mechanism.  The practice of administrative law has been referred to as a blood sport.  A responsibility of OIRA which is not highlighted is its duty to hold the agencies accountable for complying with Executive Order 12291 and its progeny, Executive 12866.  The effective discharge of this responsibility might be heightened by an appreciation of OIRA’s history which includes constant oversight, criticism and in some instances job dismal.

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